I go in my bedroom and lie on my bed and soon as I set eyes on Nick it’s like magic …’ (Alison)
‘There was a programme on TV about what would happen if there was a nuclear war. And I think if a nuclear war did happen I’d be thinking: Is Boy George safe?’ (Jane)
‘‘Bowie,’ I said. ‘Call me David,’ he replied. ‘David, is this real life?’ He replied: ‘Oh, yes, my lovely, it is all so real’… A rope came down with ‘I need you’ written on it. I grasped the rope and it whisked me up to Bowie and we both smiled. (Marnie)
Starlust is a stunning oral history of pop music fandom in all its glorious, unexpurgated ecstasies and deliriums. Through first-hand accounts collected from interviews, diaries, letters and confessions Fred Vermorel presents an unprecedented, multi-faceted portrait of 1980s-era pop adoration and obsession – from lonely teens love-struck by Nick Heyward, to the androgynous disciples who claim psychic connections with David Bowie, to the housewife-devotees who share ‘lashings of Manilust’ for Barry Manilow.
A quick but probably necessary caveat emptor: some of the content of Starlust is highly sexually explicit and not for anyone liable to be offended by such material.
But if you require bona fides on the literary merit of Starlust: as none other than Pete Townshend puts it in his gracious and affectionate preface, ‘This book, at first glance full of the fantasies of maniacs, is really full of the wonderful dreams of people just like you and me.’ Andrew O’Hagan was similarly appreciative in the London Review of Books, hailing the book as ‘excellent’ and adept in ‘persuading you that the desires and preoccupations of fans are the most beautiful and worrying things about modern pop.’
We have one copy of Starlust to give away to the winner of our quiz. To win, first take a look at the following question:
The promo video for which 1983 single release by David Bowie provoked controversy and delight by depicting the singer cavorting naked on a beach with model Geeling Ng?